Want To Avoid Diabetes? Intermittent Fasting Appears Effective In Latest Study

Intermittent fasting has been part of the weight loss process being followed by many people. And now, there is a new reason to try this approach as it may help you avoid diabetes. 

A new study, published in the journal Metabolism, shows that intermittent fasting helps reduce pancreatic fat, which contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. Researchers said that the diet approach may soon be used as a non-invasive, easy-to-integrate way to reduce unnecessary fats from the body. 

The findings come from the analysis of the effects of intermittent fasting in overweight mice. Excess weight has long been linked to increased risk of diabetes. 

"Fat accumulations outside the fat tissue, e.g. in the liver, muscles or even bones, have a negative effect on these organs and the entire body," Annette Schürmann, co-lead researcher and a professor at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, said in a statement

For the study, the researchers divided mice subjects into two groups. One group underwent an intermittent fasting regimen while the other consumed ad libitum. 

After five weeks of tests, the mice that followed a free diet developed high accumulation of fat cells in their pancreas. Meanwhile, the group under intermittent fasting had little excess fats. 

"Under certain genetic conditions, the accumulation of fat in the pancreas may play a decisive role in the development of type 2 diabetes," Tim Schulz, co-lead researcher and head of the Department of Adipocyte Development and Nutrition at the institute, said. 

To understand how fat cells affect the function of the pancreas, the researchers used isolated adipocyte precursor cells from the organ. The team also analyzed the islets of Langerhans, which work to normalize levels of blood glucose in the body. 

"We suspect that the increased secretion of insulin causes the Langerhans islets of diabetes-prone animals to deplete more quickly and, after some time, to cease functioning completely,” Schürmann said. “In this way, fat accumulation in the pancreas could contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes." 

The 16:8 method is the most known form of intermittent fasting. This approach requires eating only during an eight-hour window within the day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.

Diet A number of studies have been conducted to explore the benefits and potential negative effects of fasting. Pixabay